About Stout & Porters

Stouts and porters are very dark, almost black in color, and feature heavily roasted flavors and aromas. This is achieved when brewers use malt that has been heavily kilned until it resembles burnt toast. These beers use top-fermenting yeasts and are members of the ale family. Originally, the term “porter” was used to describe an English dark beer that was the drink of the masses long before lagers were conceived or modern ales were fashionable. In the heyday of porter, during the eighteenth century, the term "stout" was used to denote the strongest and weightiest beers in a brewer’s portfolio. The same holds true today, with porters generally being lighter in body and color than stouts. Stouts and porters are enormously popular among craft brewers, with virtually all brewpubs and regional microbrewers producing one or both year round.
Top Picks for Stout & Porters
209136
Excelsior Brewing Co.
'Spresso Milk Chocolate Stout
Opaque dark brown black color. Rich, inviting aromas and flavors of cappuccino gelato and toffee with a silky, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, elegant, medium-long finish manifesting notes of artisanal mocha, nuts, and watercress. A fantastically flavorful and balanced coffee stout that gets it just right.
Date Tasted: 1/14/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
197288
Goose Island Beer Co.
Bourbon County Brand Stout
Deep brown black color. Rich and refined aromas coffee, chocolate raisins, sour cherries and nut brittle have a distinct smoked cherrywood note with a sensational supple and lush fruity-yet-dry full body and long, gracefully evolving finish of brown spices, barrel notes, nuts, cola, and honeyed dried fruits. A world class benchmark of the style.
Date Tasted: 1/11/2012 in our Chicago tasting lab
209194
Chatham Brewing
Imperial Porter
Dark brown color. Bright, attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate cherry bon bons, chestnut brittle, brown sugar, and sarsaparilla candy with a supple, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long finish that shows impressions of salty roasted nuts, vanilla salt, grassy earth, and peppery radish. An exceptionally zesty, well balanced and attractive imperial porter.
Date Tasted: 1/13/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
197426
10 Barrel Brewing
Big Black Stout
Black brown color. Complex aromas of chocolate mousse, spiced figs and dates, and walnut pastry with a silky, foamy dryish medium-to-full body and a crisp, balanced roasted nut and grassy green hop finish. Elegantly styled and very drinkable. Very impressive.
Date Tasted: 1/11/2012 in our Chicago tasting lab
213865
Horny Goat Brewing Co
Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter
Nearly opaque brown color. Bold, nutty aromas of roasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate, peanut butter, and rice crispy treaties with a satiny, bright, fizzy, fruity sweet medium body and an effortless, elegant, long hazelnut mocha latte and butter roasted nuts finish. A fantastically flavorful nutty porter that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: 1/5/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
209159
Southern Prohibition Brewing
Ragana Baltic Porter
Dark brown color. Lively aromas and flavors of chocolate toffee, caramelized fruits, and chestnuts with a satiny, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a mildly astringent, stimulating, long finish with suggestions of mocha gelato, honeyed orange peels, bitter greens, and creamy vanilla. A delicious and finely balanced Baltic porter that is a benchmark of the style.
Date Tasted: 1/11/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
209148
Straight to Ale
Bourbon Barrel Aged Laika Russian Imperial Stout
Opaque dark brown black color. Rich aromas and flavors of dark chocolate citrus peels, butter roasted nuts, mushroom consommé, and cracked pepper with a creamy, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, intricate, long finish with accents of chocolate espresso beans, dark rye toast, and tamari. A fantastically savory, umami driven Russian Imperial stout.
Date Tasted: 1/13/2015 in our Chicago tasting lab
205478
Caldera Brewing Company
Mogli Imperial Porter
Dark brown color. Bold aromas of fig, dried apricot, and date breads, chocolate creme brulee, and vanilla nut brittle with a satiny fruit-yet-dry medium-full body and a long, jazzy finish with notes of spiced cherries,and guava, pickled melon, grapefruit marmalade and pepper. A wild flavor ride.
Date Tasted: 1/16/2014 in our Chicago tasting lab
204893
Rogue Ales
Russian Imperial Stout
Dark black brown color with a tan saffron rim and cast. Bright peppery spice and greens, dark chocolate and dried fruits with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a long, seamless but astringent coffee, cocoa, apricot, chestnut, and peppery rapini-like finish. Rich, delicious, and stylish. Impressive!
Date Tasted: 1/9/2014 in our Chicago tasting lab
197358
Cigar City Brewing
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout
Inky motor oil black brown color. Rich aromas or cacao nibs, vanilla pod, chili peppers and gingerbread and brown spices with a plush fruity full body and a chocolate creme brulee, Mexican coffee, and spiced nut finish. Dangerously delicious; will pair well with pork.
Date Tasted: 1/17/2012 in our Chicago tasting lab